Premier Barry O’Farrell, Barbara Moore, Stewart Dowrick CE NSW Health Innovation Awards
From: Barbara Moore (President BHAG Inc.)
On Friday the 11th of October I attended the NSW Innovation Symposium in Sydney. Earlier this year I was approached by Claire Sartori (NUM of Hartley House at Bellingen Hospital) to be the ‘Volunteer’ Name/Face to be submitted for Volunteer of the Year 2013 Innovation Award for the project that BHAG had been involved in at Hartley House. I accepted this nomination on behalf of all the volunteers involved in the works. Many community service organisations participated in the project: Bellingen Lions, Rotary, Men’s Shed and High School, Free Masons, Auxiliary and Pink Ladies and the Bellinger Health Action Group (BHAG). This was a most humbling and privileged honour as I am only one amongst many.
In particular I am only one in our team of volunteer gardeners at Bellingen Hospital so credit is also due to Fenella Briscomb, Shirley Dunne, Jodie Neal, Barbara Towers, Daniel Flesch and Rhonda MacGraw.
I may not have won the award this year but I was the only finalist from regional NSW (all other finalists were from Sydney metropolitan hospitals). The winner was a wonderful 93 year old lady from Sydney who has volunteered for over 40 years at her local hospital. So I will just have to continue volunteering for at least another 30 years to catch up with her commitment. As I listened to the speakers at the ‘Innovation’ symposium prior to the announcement of the award it was clear that what BHAG and other volunteer organisations are doing at Bellingen Hospital is truly innovative.
The work BHAG does at Bellingen Hospital is done with love and passion for gardening. To be given the opportunity to restore, create and beautify the gardens adjacent to the hospital buildings fills us with pride and joy. We also relish our sessions in the adjacent bushland areas (bush bashing) removing weeds and planting native species. The health benefits to the patients and hospital staff is evident by the regular interaction we have during each working bee. This is an honour and we appreciate their support and encouragement and we always welcome their invitation to work on another area.
There are other benefits for the hospital that follow our work. The pedestrian areas are safer, the building infrastructure is protected from further damage by adjacent flora, drainage is improved and during our first sessions in 2010 we increased the car parking spaces by 10 vehicles in the main car park by removing encroaching plants. Without the support of the maintenance team at the hospital (Steve, Andy and Jim) throughout the past 3 years we would not have achieved our goals. Other senior staff (Kath Boman, Janelle Goodall and Claire Sartori) have unreservedly encouraged and supported this working partnership with BHAG. Permission and support from the CE (Stewart Dowrick) and Capital Works (Mark Wilson and Ken Meale) has been crucial in providing BHAG with this exceptional opportunity and we thank them for trusting us.
Thank you to NSW Health for this amazing opportunity to serve our community and assist in improving the health outcomes for patients and the work environment for staff.
If you would like to join our gardening group
please contact Barbara Moore on 66551898.